New Zealand has been awarded "Fossil of the Day" at the major climate change summit COP28 over its plans to reverse the ban on offshore oil and gas exploration.
Responding to the news, the CEO of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) New Zealand, Dr Kayla Kingdon-Bebb, said:
"Our new Government has only been formed for a week and it's already achieving international recognition - but for all the wrong reasons.
"The science is unequivocal that fossil fuels need to stay in the ground. Reopening the door to offshore oil and gas exploration in the middle of a climate crisis is not only irresponsible, but makes us an embarrassment on the world stage.
"We've already heard concerns from our neighbours in the Pacific and our trading partners won’t react kindly either if New Zealand doesn’t play its part in the global response to climate change.
"I urge the Government to wake up to the calls of the international community and abandon this ill-thought-out decision," Dr Kingdon-Bebb said.